Bird Banding at Charcoal Tank Nature Reserve, NSW

Many thanks go to my gorgeous nephew Lee and Master Bird Bander, Mark Clayton for including me in their latest bird banding trip to Charcoal Tank, NR near West Wyalong.

Friday was going to be a scorcher with an expected 37 degrees forecast for the western plains. I left Canberra around midday and stopped to stock up on supplies in Yass. I wasn’t going to need much in the way of food, the plan was to eat out both nights. My rendezvous point with the banders was the West Wyalong Services Club at 1900 hours.

The wheat harvest is currently in full swing across most of the central west area, local croppers were casting nervous eyes skyward as the cool change and storm clouds rolled in. By the time I had reached Barmedman, the storm had passed and the temperature dropped to 2O dregees, it was still very humid.

Barmedman grain silo

I arrived at the club in WW and watched as car loads of very glamorous looking folk piled inside, definately not birders! More like a night at the Logies, all that was missing was the red carpet. Turns out it was the year 12 formal. Fridays night’s dinner was pretty ordinary, it was decided to try another regular haunt, the Long Hong Chinese restaurant for tommorrow night.

There is no shortage of hotels, motels and restaurants along Main street. The town is at the intesection of 3 highways and half way point between Brisbane and Adelaide. The reason for the trip was not to crtitque restaurants and look at beautiful old federation architecture, but to band birds.

Federation architecture in West Wyalong

Charcoal Tank Nature Reserve has been the site of a very comprehensive banding program for the past 19 years. The reserve conserves a woodland of mugga iron bark and black cypress pine growing on the lower slopes and green, blue and bull mallee on gravelly ridges.

Lee carefully releases a White Plumed Honeyeater 
Mr Red-capped robin is banded

Bird paparazzi

The banding party was made up of members of the Canberra Ornitholigists Group as well as bird banders from Sweden and Canberra.  Any time spent in good company and in the outdoors is always rewarding and I added another 10 birds to my life list.
 I departed the camp at 930hrs on Sunday and headed for the mineral pool at Barmedman; a flushing loo, a shower and a swim in the mineral pool, just what I need after a couple of nights bush camping. I also managed to pick up 3 White Winged Trillers that I missed at CT as well as a new bird for me, a White Browed Woodswalllow. It was soon time to chase the storms back to Canberra and plan for the next adventure.
Mineral Pool at Barmedman

Author: mimfilip

Forager, fermenter, pickler, baker, gardener, walker, runner, hiker, traveller, photographer, instagramer, blogger, nature lover, bird watcher, teacher, learner, feminist, wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, grandmother, reader, taster, tester and dog lover.

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